McCarthy complains he wasn't consulted ahead of California's shelter-in-place order

Kevin McCarthy
By Quint Forgey
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy complained Thursday that the decision by his homestate governor to institute a statewide shelter-in-place order was premature and made without input from other state leaders.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, on Thursday ordered nearly 40 million residents to stay home, making it the first state to order the restrictive mandate as coronavirus cases surge across the U.S. The order is effective immediately and remains in place “until further notice," the governor said.
"We do think there was an ability to do this without shutting down the entire state," McCarthy told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday. "I hope he consulted with a lot of experts before he just made this decision."
McCarthy, whose California district includes Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley, said his state produces "essential things" necessary for the national coronavirus response. And the state's massive population, he suggested, could have an outsize impact on the already struggling U.S. economy when it stays home en masse.
"You know how serious this virus is and how contagious it is. But California is 12 percent of the nation's population. There are essential things that are produced in California that when you think of the pharmaceutical industry and others based in San Francisco," McCarthy said. "I would have thought the governor would have called a number of us to consult and talk to us why he would make this decision. I know I never did get a call from him. Maybe he feels there's a need behind it."
Under Newsom's order, Californians can leave home for essential purposes such as purchasing groceries, prescriptions, health care, and jobs deemed essential.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who issued the same order for his city hours before Newsom's statewide measure, saw the action as necessary for preventing overwhelmed hospitals in coming days.
"We wanted to act quickly, and I'm so glad our governor acted for the entire state because the data showed us very clearly two days for some cities, maybe six to nine days for others, we are all about to be overwhelmed in our hospitals," Garcetti said on CNN's "New Day." "But things we can do right now allow us all to be first responders and potentially take this fate of this virus in a different direction."
But Garcetti said residents are still encouraged to go outside, visit parks and go hiking while abiding by the order — a measure the mayor predicts will last for a couple of months.
"You can go out, just don't go out with a group of your family to get things at the grocery store. Don't pack yourselves together in a car. Really abide by this," Garcetti said.
He continued: "This won't just be a couple of weeks. In my opinion it will be at least a couple of months. I know that that's really jarring and tough for folks initially. But I do think people will come together in a way, remember those things that we love and those people we love in a way we haven't done for a long time."
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March 20, 2020
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